Las Vegas is not a place I choose to go. As someone much more interested in the beauty of nature I’ve never found the hype appealing. There’s something about a hotel designed so you must walk through the casino to get your morning coffee that just isn’t me. However, several years ago I agreed to go with my spouse on a business trip to Las Vegas when he bribed me with tickets to Jersey Boys.
Looking for optional activities I stumbled across Evolution Expeditions. With pickup at your hotel they offer several kayaking options and we chose the all day Hoover Dam Tour. Following a 5:30 a.m. pickup at our hotel we arrived at a check in point above the dam. Everyone’s photo ID is checked before being allowed to go ahead. Entrance through a locked gate sends one on a gravel road switchbacking to a launch point at the base of the dam. For my spouse, who photos every bridge we kayak under, this was kayak heaven. This point’s closeness to the dam puts one directly underneath the new bridge, which at that time was missing just one span for completion.
Following time to view the dam and bridge from a place most never see, we began our 11 mile journey through Black Canyon to Willow Beach. Within the first mile a series of hot springs a short walk from a beach provided our first warm soak of the day. A “sauna” cave provided an interesting diversion. Birds were in abundance on the cliff walls. Just as I mentioned wanting to see Desert Big Horn Sheep they appeared sitting on the cliff above us. Photographing them presented a challenge.
Our guide’s historical knowledge of the area was enchanting. A delightful story exists about the man tasked with checking the water gauge each day. He would walk for several miles along a cliff trail, pull himself hand over hand across in a basket, check the gauge and then repeat the same trip home.
Evolution Expeditions furnished a catered lunch on the beach at the second hot springs stop. By this time soaking for a while felt good. If I’m ever in Las Vegas again with extra time this trip is worth repeating.
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